Time Sheet Logbook

Relationship: Im/migrant
My daily time logbook (1971)
My daily time logbook (1971)

In 1971, I was a foreign student from Taiwan studying engineering at University of Washington. I was a sophomore and it was also my second year working in Alaska salmon cannery during the summer. This artifact is the logbook I used to record my daily working hours at Orca cannery, which is located near Cordova, Alaska. In July 1971, after a poor salmon canning season in Egegik, a few of us working in the Japanese egghouse were offered another opportunity to work at Orca cannery. At the time, Orca was going through an exceptional salmon run, and needed immediate help. We flew from Egegik to Cordova late on 7/19, and jumped to work the very next morning. Over a period of 30 days, we worked every day without a day off, averaging 14 hours a day. Over a stretch of 2 weeks, we worked many 16+ hours days except for occasional breaks, lunch, and dinner. After work, often in the wee hours of the morning, we shuffled back to the bunkhouse to catch a few hours of sleep. At the end of each day, I recorded my hours and had the logbook signed by my Japanese boss the next morning. When I worked in Egegik, the season was slow and the workers had a lot of time to ourselves, it was boring at times because there was not that much to do in that remote area. In Orca, we experienced one of the best salmon runs in years, and we were so busy that we had little time for sleep -- it was like night and day compared to Egegik. We did't mind the long hours, because we were paid time and half for overtime. Looking back, the hard work and long hours made that summer at Orca cannery a very memorable one.

Place(s): Orca, Alaska
Year: 1971

– James Chiao

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant